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Boris Johnson‘s hopes of a post-Brexit free trade deal with India were boosted today  as his counterpart Narendra Modi said New Delhi will make ‘all efforts’ to get it done.

The news is a boost for the Prime Minister as he seeks to move on from the Partygate scandal engulfing his administration in London.

But he may face disappointment over the speed at which the deal appears. At a join press event today in New Delhi Mr Johnson said he had told negotiators to ‘get it done by Diwali’, the Hindu religious festival in October. 

However Mr Modi only spoke about signing off an agreement by the end of 2022.

Mr Johnson is holding talks with his counterpart on defence, fossil fuels and trade as he seeks to lessen India’s ties with Vladimir Putin’s Russia over his invasion of Ukraine. 

At a join press event today in New Delhi Mr Johnson said he had told negotiators to 'get it done by Diwali', the Hindu religious festival in October.

At a join press event today in New Delhi Mr Johnson said he had told negotiators to 'get it done by Diwali', the Hindu religious festival in October.

At a join press event today in New Delhi Mr Johnson said he had told negotiators to ‘get it done by Diwali’, the Hindu religious festival in October.

However Mr Modi only spoke about signing off an agreement by the end of 2022.

However Mr Modi only spoke about signing off an agreement by the end of 2022.

However Mr Modi only spoke about signing off an agreement by the end of 2022.

Johnson has committed to supporting India to build fighter jets in a bid to reduce the amount of arms the nation buys from Russia, like this Indian Air Force Mig-29 fighter

Johnson has committed to supporting India to build fighter jets in a bid to reduce the amount of arms the nation buys from Russia, like this Indian Air Force Mig-29 fighter

Johnson has committed to supporting India to build fighter jets in a bid to reduce the amount of arms the nation buys from Russia, like this Indian Air Force Mig-29 fighter

Johnson has committed to supporting India to build fighter jets in a bid to reduce the amount of arms the nation buys from Russia.

The Prime Minister will discuss defence and security collaboration across land, sea air, space and cyber with Mr Modi when they hold talks.

Mr Johnson will use the meeting to press for a loosening of ties with Moscow, amid concerns about India’s neutrality on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

Downing Street said the UK would offer the ‘best of British knowhow’ to support building ‘new Indian-designed and built fighter jets’, but further details were unclear.

Britain will also issue an open general export licence to India, which No 10 said would speed up its defence procurement in a move that is a first outside the European Union or US

India has declined to be critical of its former Cold War ally Russia and has abstained from voting in United Nations resolutions condemning Moscow.

As the West divests from Russian fuel, India has upped its purchases of Moscow’s oil and has been a major buyer of the Kremlin’s arms.

Mr Johnson was open to the possibility of accepting Delhi’s demands for more immigration to the UK, saying the UK is short of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of IT workers.

But the PM was facing renewed calls in India to speak up for minorities and democratic rights as he visited a JCB factory, while bulldozers are being used to tear down Muslim-owned properties in communal violence.

He indicated he would bring up those issues during talks with Mr Modi, who is accused of damaging India’s democracy and of whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment.

Source: dailymail

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